Agonist-induced dimer dissociation as a macromolecular step in G protein-coupled receptor signaling

Julian Petersen, Shane C. Wright, David Rodríguez, Pierre Matricon, Noa Lahav, Aviv Vromen, Assaf Friedler, Johan Strömqvist, Stefan Wennmalm, Jens Carlsson, Gunnar Schulte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) constitute the largest family of cell surface receptors. They can exist and act as dimers, but the requirement of dimers for agonist-induced signal initiation and structural dynamics remains largely unknown. Frizzled 6 (FZD6) is a member of Class F GPCRs, which bind WNT proteins to initiate signaling. Here, we show that FZD6 dimerizes and that the dimer interface of FZD6 is formed by the transmembrane α-helices four and five. Most importantly, we present the agonist-induced dissociation/re-association of a GPCR dimer through the use of live cell imaging techniques. Further analysis of a dimerization-impaired FZD6 mutant indicates that dimer dissociation is an integral part of FZD6 signaling to extracellular signal-regulated kinases1/2. The discovery of agonist-dependent dynamics of dimers as an intrinsic process of receptor activation extends our understanding of Class F and other dimerizing GPCRs, offering novel targets for dimer-interfering small molecules.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number226
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Author(s).

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